September is wine harvest time in most regions of Italy, and the smell of grapes and must is filling the air around the vineyards. It is the time of the year when wineries are bustling with activity in the vineyard for the selection of the best grapes and in the cellar to prepare the new wine.
So between the end of September and October, a lot of countryside villages are animated by traditional festivals celebrating the success of the harvest!
Lazio offers quite a lot of harvest festivals and, if in Capena we need to wait until the first weekend of October for the local event, in Velletri the Sagra dell’Uva e dei Vini will be going on between the 27th and the 29th of September.
Both these events have ancient origins: the first grape festival was held in Velletri in 1930 while in Capena it was introduced in 1927.
The streets of Velletri turn into real “cellars” to host the festival . The event is accompanied by food stalls, musical performances, and the traditional “Palio delle Decarcie”.
In Capena, the village is festooned with laurel garlands and bunches of grapes to mark the occasion and wine pours out of mouth of the marble lion’s head on the steps of the church of Sant’Antonio. The festival then culminates with a procession of floats pulled by tractors and oxen, carrying girls in traditional dress handing out grapes. The procession ends in a grape fight, the drinking of wine and general carousing.
Other wine festivals that may be interesting:
Sagra dell’uva del vino e dei prodotti tipici in Mentana, around 20 minutes drive from Capena taking place between the 4th and the 6th of October
Sagra dell’Uva di Marino, 45 minutes drive from Capena, taking place between the 4th and 6th of October
Sagra dell’Uva in Zagarolo, 45 minutes drive from Capena, taking place between the 4th and 13th of October
Sagra dell’Uva Cesanese del Piglio, in Piglio, around a hour and 15 minutes drive from Capena, taking place between the 4th and 6th of October
Wherever you will go please drink responsibly if driving and…enjoy!
Pictures are courtesy of Alessandra Andreani